Leaving your washing machine door open after using it can help prevent it from ruining your clothes.
Practically every household in the UK has a washing machine, but not everyone knows how to keep them working properly. Many of us are making the same potentially disastrous mistake when we finish using our machines - by closing the door afterwards.
Mildew and mould
Doing so can cause mildew and mould to build up in the drum, which can leave clothes smelling musty and is tough to remove. Mildew thrives in damp and warm conditions. By closing the door of your washing machine straight after you have used it, you could be giving the fungus a perfect place to live.
Instead, people should wait for the moisture in the drum to escape over the course of a few hours before they close the door, according to experts at American home economics magazine, Better Homes & Gardens.
They also recommend drying freshly washed clothes immediately, as even a few hours left damp can encourage mildew growth on them.
How to get rid of mildew and mould
Better Homes & Gardens has the following advice for people whose washing machines have already developed mildew.
Clean around the door and the seals with a 10:1 mixture of warm water and bleach, before rinsing with warm water and drying.Set their machine for a large load, and run the cycle with only hot water and one cup of household bleach.Repeat the cycle, but replace the bleach with two cups of white vinegar to remove the musty smell.Finally, repeat the cycle with just hot water, until the odours are gone.
The experts recommend repeating this cleaning process once every few months to prevent the mildew from returning.